Content created by Healthline and sponsored by our partners.​ ​ Learn​ ​more

Benefits of Clinical Trials for Lung Cancer

Medically reviewed by Seunggu Han, MD on October 30, 2017Written by Valencia Higuera on October 30, 2017
lung cancer clinical trials

There are different treatments available for lung cancer. Your doctor will determine the best course of action based on the stage of your cancer. Treatments include:

  • surgery to remove cancerous tissue
  • chemotherapy and radiation to kill cancer cells
  • immunotherapy to activate your immune system to fight the cancer

You should also consider clinical trials. These studies test the effectiveness of newer drugs that have been researched and developed over long periods of time. Before these drugs are approved for cancer treatment, they must be tested on human volunteers. Clinical trials can include medications, surgery, and other treatment methods.

Who’s a candidate for a clinical trial?

Treatments used in clinical trials have undergone a lot of research before they’re tested on humans. Many clinical trials are safe and able to treat cancer when other therapies fail.

Some people think clinical trials are only available for people whose cancer is advanced. But different clinical trials are available to treat people at various stages of cancer.

Some trials involve new cancer drugs, whereas others use new surgical techniques or radiation therapies. Some trials also involve a combination of treatments.

Clinical trials aren’t right for everyone. But participating in a trial could put you in remission and benefit others living with lung cancer.

Talk with your doctor and ask about new treatments through clinical trials.

Benefits of clinical trials

There are benefits and risks associated with participating in a clinical trial. Risks include dealing with unknown or unexpected side effects, as your body may not respond to the trial drugs as well as it would to other therapies. Also, you might have to travel a lot for a clinical trial or work with a new medical team. Your doctor will discuss the risks with you.

The research of clinical trials paves the way for future cancer treatments. Here are some other reasons to participate:

Receive cutting-edge cancer treatment

Many new cancer treatments and therapies are only available in clinical trials. Traditional treatment methods can be effective. However, clinical trials offer the latest, cutting-edge treatments.

This could be your opportunity to get the best treatment from some of the leading cancer treatment centers.

Personalized, focused medical care

In a clinical trial, how you respond to a drug or therapy can determine if the treatment becomes available to others. The team overseeing your trial has a major interest in your progress. You’ll receive more attention and frequent checkups to make sure you’re responding to treatment.

Your health is never compromised

Some clinical trials give one group of participants treatment, while another group is given a placebo. The study then compares the effects of the drug with the effects of the placebo.

Some cancer clinical trials may involve a placebo, but you won’t receive a placebo in place of treatment. If you take a placebo, you’ll also receive traditional cancer care to treat the disease. Also, information about placebos is disclosed before beginning the trial.

You’re contributing to the future of cancer treatment

Joining a clinical trial doesn’t only benefit your health. If the trial results in the approval of a new cancer treatment, your support could save lives. This can help you feel empowered and give you a sense of accomplishment.

You can leave the trial at any time

Participation in a clinical trial is completely voluntary. You can remain in a trial through its duration, or leave at any time and resume traditional treatment. You might choose this option if a trial involves a lot of travel, or if you experience side effects from the study drugs.

Financial assistance available

Speak with your insurance provider before joining a clinical trial. Your provider may cover the cost of study drugs. This can reduce your out-of-pocket expense. Sometimes, the trial covers the cost of a participant’s care.

Takeaway

Joining a clinical trial can be an excellent way to get a new treatment and help your disease go into remission. With any clinical trial, there’s the possibility of side effects or complications. Speak with your doctor to see if you’re eligible for a clinical trial. Make sure you understand the risks and potential benefits before signing up.

CMS Id: 135468